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Author Topic: Please read the logical fallacies announcement if you want to debate here  (Read 5445 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Go here to see

No castrations have yet been given for specifically 'committing fallacies' yet, though, as I mention, warnings have been given, and harsher measures have been taken against 'uncivil' behavior.

Usually what happens is a person will commit to a certain set of fallacies, dancing around them and frustrating people who know that something has to be wrong, but is not, exactly, sure why or what is wrong with the argument. The purpose here then is that when you see a situation like that, and think "Okay, I know something is wrong with this..."

...that announcement thread should be complete enough that you can determine what, exactly, is wrong.

Someone suggested that this might make people more afraid to debate - that's not my intent. The general bar of the forum is going to be used for determining whether or not someone has to be poked for this sort of behavior.  But I do feel that this sort of thing is needed to help raise the level of discourse, here.

I am intentionally leaving this thread unlocked for people who want to ask questions.

Thank you. : )

Offline CassandraNova

Re: Please read the logical fallacies announcement if you want to debate here
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 09:09:07 AM »
I'm not entirely certain I'm not stepping on Vekseid's toes here, but he did mention he was leaving the thread unlocked so that people could ask question, so...

I appreciate the primer on logical fallacies.  I like the elegance of a well-crafted, well reasoned argument, and do think in terms of formal logic myself.  I have a small collection of articles and weblinks about argument and logic that have helped me hone my writing and debate style in conversation and in written expression, such as Internet message boards.

(Here's a plug for one of my favorites:  How to Argue by the president of the New England Skeptical Society, which covers many of the same logical fallacies Vekseid goes over, as well as a bit of material on the nature of logic and argument).

However, my question.  Why?  I participate in a lot of message boards across the Internets, including the JREF forums, Talk Origins, and the comment sections of a lot of controversial blogs (think Pharyngula and Respectful Insolence).  What difference does it make to the administrators of Elliquiy whether or not people in threads avoid making logical fallacies, especially to the point where it becomes an administrative matter and subject to disciplinary action?  I'm having some trouble making the connection between good habits of thinking and penalizing others for failing to do so.

Online RubySlippers

Re: Please read the logical fallacies announcement if you want to debate here
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 09:27:30 AM »
That is also my point I'm a Banking major and a Languages double minor, I did take some philosophy but the basic courses without covering logic and don't see why your so bitchy. I try to back up my points sensibly from my position, avoid harsh language and try to be civil. So what more do you expect? This is not a college class or something that is graded like ,say, a position paper in philosophy or another discipline.

And black marking people who may not understand that huge thesis you just posted ,I'm one of them, is unfair. Focus on racist language and things that we can agree on are bad form ,unless said language is used just for reference, and forget this nitpicking. Its too much.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Please read the logical fallacies announcement if you want to debate here
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 11:04:07 PM »
What part of "You do not need to memorize this list" did you two miss? :-p

If this were JREF,, CvE, or other major debating boards... ironically we wouldn't really need the list. There are enough people in every topic on those boards who are capable of picking out such errors.

It isn't there to be held up as some sort of bible of debate. It is there because, several times now, we have seen arguments dance around the point while a debator hides behind one of these fallacies. This causes a lot of unneeded frustration when the debate could instead be ended much quicker.

This ends up with a great deal of frustration, because Elliquiy is not expected to be a debating community, no one here is expected to know, beforehand, that an appeal to tradition is something to be called out. It is not a rule violation to make a fallacy, it is a rule violation to have it pointed out to you and to keep dancing around it like it did not happen, because that is not civil.

I hope that made sense?

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Please read the logical fallacies announcement if you want to debate here
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008, 08:35:47 AM »
I like the little logical fallacies thing.  I took philosophy and though I came out of that class with an A I still don't fully understand them.  AND they're good to know when debating. . .keeps you from looking like a complete idiot.

Offline Axii

I like a call for accountability. Too often, I encounter a passionate argument that seems solely created to support the arguer's view. Any views that run counter to this, are automatically censored or simply railroaded over. If how I understand this is correct, anyone can respond to any political or religious debate here, so long as they provide a solid stance in their view.. as opposed to laying blanket statements and running over any dissent..Is this an accurate assessment, or did I totally miss the boat here?

Offline Trieste

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You're pretty much correct. People are allowed to state an opinion, as well, but if they wish to present something as fact, there needs to be stuff to back it up. You know how there are things that 'everybody knows'? Those are what we wish to avoid. :)

Offline Axii

Good to know. Thanks for your help :)

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Since Elliquiy is not a debating forum, the rules about it are pretty lax. The list is provided to help people pick out what's wrong with some arguments, and if needed, if someone makes a pattern out of a certain sort of behavior, we thwack them.

Offline fallen paradise

Just to add in one major issue that often comes up in emotional debates and leads to a major butting of heads and that is the idea of founding premise. The structure of logical arguments is based of stringing together agreed upon premises or previously established logical premises to construct what is considered a logical argument. However, as you work your way back through premises you eventually come to what are the founding premises for an argument, these are statements that can not be proven or disproven and must either be accepted or rejected. An example - you can not logically construct an argument for or against the existence of God that is definitive, ultimately it is a matter of faith and belief. Therefore, when debating an issue you should realize that is possible to have fundamentally different world views that are both logically valid merely because they are built on different premises.

Another quick example: you could debate whether or not Universal Healthcare is a good plan, however, if there is a difference in the fundamental premise as to the role of government (should government oversee a very limited number of functions or should it oversee a large number of functions) then chances are there will eventually be a logical impasse. That does not mean that either argument is illogical or filled with fallacy, just that the base condition from which the two parties are debating the issue is not in agreement.

My apologies if I'm preaching to the choir, but it is frustrating to see LOGIC held up as an absolute purity of thought where ultimately there are no differences of opinion, because it rarely works out that way - no matter how purely logical either side is being.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

This was written shortly after a bigot likened homosexuals to pedophiles, and the individuals who prompted its writing are now both banned. It's meant as an aid to help call out and eventually deal with trolls, not so much as a be-all end-all guide to debating here.

Offline Etah dna Evol

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If anyone is totally uncomfortable with formal debate, a quick study of the Toulmin model would help you immensely.